A Resolution Regarding Federal Action to Hold Foreign Polluters Accountable and to Promote U.S. Economic Development

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Model Bill Info
Bill Title A Resolution Regarding Federal Action to Hold Foreign Polluters Accountable and to Promote U.S. Economic Development
Date Introduced November 29, 2023
Type Model Resolution
Status Draft
Task Forces Energy, Environment and Agriculture
Keywords International Trade; Environmental Stewardship; International Relations

A Resolution Regarding Federal Action to Hold Foreign Polluters Accountable and to Promote U.S. Economic Development

WHEREAS, Chinese government-owned industry is an arm of the Communist Party and strives to increase its influence over the global economy by pursuing predatory, unfair trade practices designed to steal intellectual property and destroy competition from the United States;

WHEREAS, China’s dominance of key components of the global supply chain, including those related to critical minerals, represents a threat to U.S. economic security and economic and social development;

WHEREAS, China, by far the world’s largest polluter, accounts for 30% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and subsidizes its exports by not imposing or enforcing reasonable environmental and labor standards;

WHEREAS, the United States has eliminated more carbon emissions than any other country in the last fifteen years, and its economy is 44% more carbon efficient than the world average;

WHEREAS, U.S. manufacturers are more efficient in nearly every industry—from steel to solar panels to automobiles—and yet are forced to compete with companies in China and elsewhere that face few limits on how much they pollute;

WHEREAS, goods produced in China, on average, generate three times the CO2 emissions of equivalent goods made in the United States, and goods produced in Russia emit four times the emissions;

WHEREAS, minerals mined in China are more than twice as carbon intensive as those mined in the United States, the average carbon intensity of Russian oil is at least 33% higher than U.S. oil, and Russian natural gas is 60% more greenhouse gas-intensive than U.S. natural gas;

WHEREAS, many rural Americans are being left behind economically, suffering from severe poverty, poor healthcare, and few economic opportunities, making them increasingly vulnerable to crime and the opioid crisis;

WHEREAS, the average per capita income for rural Americans is only $46,000, compared to roughly $60,000 for all Americans, and the poverty rate in rural America is 14.4%, compared with 11.9% nationwide;

WHEREAS, U.S. rural communities have lower wages, property taxes, and land prices, which should give them a competitive advantage in attracting investments in manufacturing that provide revenue streams that help fund local schools and infrastructure;

WHEREAS, manufacturing jobs play a more important role in the rural economy than in urban areas, accounting for a greater share of jobs and earnings;

WHEREAS, U.S. trade policy, which has given foreign polluters an unfair advantage over the past two decades, has encouraged economic restructuring across rural America that has resulted in manufacturing employment falling by close to 30%;

WHEREAS, China has been the major beneficiary of this poorly designed federal trade policy with the United States losing roughly 5 million jobs in the last 20 years – half of which is a result of the U.S. trade deficit with China;

WHEREAS, rewarding U.S. firms for their environmental performance would bolster domestic manufacturing and generate good-paying jobs, particularly in rural areas, and reduce dependence on imports from high-emitting producers like Russia and China;

NOW, THEREFORE, be it Resolved, that the United States should enact a trade policy that:

Holds high polluting countries like China and Russia accountable for their pollution for the first time; and Promotes American economic development and the rebuilding of U.S. supply chains, particularly in rural communities, by rewarding American businesses and workers for their superior environmental performance while penalizing global polluters.